The Sunday Edition

The Sunday Edition for May 12, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.
Listen to the full episode2:36:22

Too much "niceness" is bad for critical thinking — Michael's essay: "We live in the age of nice. Niceness is everywhere. From the first 'have a nice day' to the last 'that's nice.' The word follows us like a hungry cat."

Elementary school principals on what's fuelling student-on-teacher violence: Three current and former elementary school principals talk about the urgent need for more resources, handling parents who are in denial, and how the government's focus on testing takes attention away from the needs of students. 

Our guests are: Chris Keyes, an elementary school principal in Regina, Sask., Wendy Sharpe, a retired elementary school principal in Toronto, Ont., and Bill Chaisson, a retired school principal from Corner Brook, N.L. 

Lessons from the life of Jean Vanier: The renowned humanitarian once said that "love means doing ordinary things with tenderness." Vanier, who died this week, changed the way we think about developmental disability — and the life of Michael's guest, Sister Sue Mosteller.  

For nervous patients, a friendly dog takes the stress out of dentistry: There's no doubt that it's an unusual therapeutic pairing: a dentist ... and a daschund. But it seems to be doing wonders for the frayed nerves of terrified patients. Our documentary is produced by Cate Cochran.

A young refugee, a widowed mother of four, and their unlikely friendship:Alisa Spiegel's documentary "Just to Have Had You" has just been honoured with a prestigious Gabriel Award. It tells the story of Placide Rubabaza, who fled war-torn Burundi in 1994 and landed — terrified and alone — at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie. Teacher, mother and refugee activist Patricia Anzovino took him under her wing. Today, Placide is a doctor, Patricia has dementia, and their connection is as strong as ever. 

A gift for her mother became a symbol of enjoying every last second: When she was a child, Patty Smith gave her mother a small engraved tea cup for Mother's Day. When Lola was dying, an espresso cup became a symbol of how to enjoy every last second. "Just as another little cup had done nearly six decades beforehand, it gave Mom an unbroken hold on raising a toast to life once again," writes Smith in her personal essay, "Lola's Cup." 

Your reaction to:Michael's essay on press freedom under Obama versus Trump, and his interview about the fight to ban leaf-blowers.

Music this week by: Alice Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Jane Bunnett, Clara Schumann, Angela Hewitt, Cécile Chaminade, Evelyn Glennie, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, The Women's Philharmonic and Alison Krauss.